21 October 2015
4 questions with Lani Teddy, Melanoma Institute Australia Research Project Manager who was a driving force in the team to create the new information packs Your Guide to Early Melanoma.
What is “Your Guide to Early Melanoma” and how will it help patients?
People’s need for information following a melanoma diagnosis varies a great deal. When people have questions, whether about melanoma generally or specifically about their diagnosis, treatment, or follow-up care, they often don’t know where to turn or what information to trust. “Your Guide to Early Melanoma” is a dedicated information resource for people diagnosed with Stage I or II melanoma.
How long did the project take and who was involved?
A number of health professionals, a GP, surgeons, dermatologists and clinical nurse consultants provided content and feedback. We were fortunate that a group of ten volunteers (patients, carers and family members) also thoroughly critiqued an early version of this resource. People who have been through the experience of a melanoma diagnosis have thought about the types of questions they had when first diagnosed, what information they have gone looking for since and provided suggestions not only on the content, but also more broadly on how the resource should look and ideas about how this should be distributed. And of course we are very grateful to have the support of Neutrogena, without which this work may not have happened. The resource took about 8 months to produce from first draft to printing.
It is believed that patient support is a missing resource. How are the support packs addressing a support and information need?
There is a lot of variability in the types of information and support that people are after. Some people want to know about support groups, some people want to see pictures of melanoma, others want to understand the way melanoma is staged and have questions about nutrition, sunscreen, Vitamin D, prognosis, genetics, what happens at follow-up…the list goes on. Some people want to know everything up front, others only want to know what is relevant right now, and may have questions later on. While the information and support packs won’t provide all the answers, they are a good starting point and provide a lot of references if people want more in-depth information. It is also something that can be shared with family and friends if they have questions about melanoma.
What is psychosocial care and why is it so important for patients?
Psychosocial and supportive care is about recognising and responding to the numerous ways that people are affected by a cancer diagnosis. The provision of information that is easy to access and easy to understand is one part of the much broader scope for supporting patients and families through diagnosis and treatment. Patients (and their families) require a holistic approach to treatment, which therefore includes addressing psychological, social, dietary and physical issues as well as excellent medical care.
“I had a complete response within about six months. All of my tumours disappeared."
MIA's Co-Medical Director, Professor Richard Scolyer, has achieved a Google Scholar h-index of 100.
We know what Melanoma March means to our community, so when we had to cancel our physical events, we created Melanoma March Virtual so that everyone across Australia could still connect to honour loved ones and support each other.
A must-read personal account by Garry Maddox in The Sydney Morning Herald of how immunotherapy is revolutionising melanoma treatment.
On Friday, a publication that lays out the steps needed to find out if a systematic screening program for melanoma would benefit all Australians was published in the Australia & New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Melanoma March events have been cancelled. A Virtual March will be held on Sunday 29th March. Read this statement from MIA CEO Matthew Browne.
Thank you to the thousands of Aussies who bought ‘Game On Mole‘ t-shirts, took selfies, shared t-shirt pics on social media and started lifesaving conversations around sun safety and skin health.
Melanoma patients now have greater access to subsidised immunotherapy thanks to additional treatments today being listed on the PBS.
Brisbane couple Leon and Tamra Betts were, like thousands of others around Australia, on the couch watching MAFS when newlywed Natasha ran through her weekly beauty routine. When they heard the 26-year-old mention solarium use, they were shocked, and then saddened, prompting this open letter to all young Australians.
Professor Richard Scolyer, Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia, will welcome international attendees this weekend to a sold-out, two-day course on ‘Pigmented Lesions and Other Hot Topics in Dermatopathology’.
It is time for a reality check on solariums.
They have no place in anyone’s beauty routine.
Throughout January our community created, hosted and participated in some amazing events, each of them helping us on our quest to reach zero deaths from melanoma.
Australian television presenter, interior designer and mother Kyly Clarke has been announced as the new Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign Melanoma March.
Melanoma Institute Australia has recently partnered with three other organisations to boost support for melanoma patients and their carers across Australia.
Melanoma patients and their families across Western Australia will benefit from strengthened and expanded services with the merging of melanomaWA and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Australian researchers have played a critical role in the discovery of a potential new test to predict which early stage melanoma patients are at high risk of their disease recurring and progressing.
We are extremely grateful for our community fundraisers, who, even in this difficult time, have given up their time and effort to fundraise so we can continue to work towards our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.
Melanoma patients are set to benefit from subsidised access to immunotherapy treatment for high risk early-stage and advanced-stage melanoma patients.
An informative article on how immunotherapy is revolutionising cancer treatment, written by Jill Margo and featured in the Australian Financial Review.
Melanoma patients and their families in the Riverina will benefit from strengthened and sustained melanoma services with the merger of the Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust and Melanoma Institute Australia.